Happy April 1 and NaPoWriMo

April 1, 2008

Everyone in DC feels like they’ve been hit repeatedly with a baseball bat. I don’t know what pollen is around here, but it’s got to be nearly as bad as anthrax.

I wake up every day feeling like I have a hangover, and I’ve not even had the pleasure of drinking the night before. My car is coated with a thin yellow layer of pollen. Where does it come from? The innocent-looking daffodils?


Are you doing NaPoWriMo? That’s the March question in the poetry world. In January of every year, the question is: “Are you going to AWP?” I ask these, too. What can I say?

This year, I AM participating in NaPoWriMo. I started on March 17 with a group of poets. We’re emailing our daily efforts to each other. The daily grind forces me to reach beyond what’s comfortable — out of desperation to make the deadline, perhaps — and write on new subjects, which often require a new (to me) form or structure.

During NaPoWriMo, I enjoy how my mind turns more often towards poetry creation. I especially enjoy the long drives I take a few times per week, because I’m able to come up with several phrases that work their way into poems. As I drift off to sleep, poem subjects come to mind.

I surprised myself today when I went back to look at drafts from March 17 and 18. I had completely forgotten the poems I wrote. I’m moving so fast — at this 1-2 poems per day rate — that I can’t keep the previous poems in mind for long. Move on, move on, move on is the mantra.

Come May, I’ll have a heavenly month of revision.

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